Been to Surgeon and surgery planned.anyone had Upper right lobe removed?

Hi everyone.

Just an update. Good news is that I am having surgery within the next month. The surgeon explained that I will be having upper right lobe removed and will lose 15-20% lung capacity. He said about 10 days in hospital and up to 3 months to feel recovered. Has anyone else had this done on here? He went through how they will do the operation etc but course I am fretting about it. Thanks everyone

Report post

38 replies. Join the discussion

Hi Pauline,
My father had his whole entire left lung removed 5 weeks ago, and fully recovered and even returned back to work 2 weeks ago. He is still short of breath, but recovers quickly after he sits down. Likewise, Im sure you will be too the first couple of weeks. The surgery itself was not bad at all from what I thought it would be. My dads surgery was about 3 hours long, and then was in the Surgical Intensive Care unit for about 4 days since he was having trouble getting the mucus out of his airways...which is a common complication. He was not on a breathing tube, and was on a all liquid diet for the first 5 days or so. After he returned home he kept using his spirometer which they will encourge you to use as often as possible. The scar is actually pretty big (But hes a bigger person about 260 lbs) He doesnt complain about the pain that often but says its still there....I myself was so worried that the surgery would be awful but after experiencing it and going through it, it wasnt as nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. Of course every situation is different and I will deff be praying for you and your family for a fast and complication free recovery!

Best of luck,

Report post

Hi pauline,

I had my RUL removed 5 weeks ago and I just came back from playing golf. I had VATs and was only in the hospital for 3 days. Just follow what the doctor tells you and the recovery is not that bad.

Good luck

Report post

Thanks for replies. Im having the cut to the side and the back and will lose a couple of ribs. I am hoping for a speedy recovery like spike and Christa3's father. Im guessing VATS is quicker operation is it? Is this why my recovery will take longer?? Thanks again

Report post

Hi Pauline,
Yep, you're right. VATS is a much quicker recovery, however, I had the traditional cut but had my lower right lobe removed and a wedge out of my middle right lobe.

My surgery was on June 21, 2007 and by the middle of August I was out doing things like taking my grandson to the Carnival, etc. It probably takes 3 months to feel FULLY healed but I'm sure you will do very well.

The first few weeks was difficult but my surgeon gave me appropriate pain medication. You need to have pain relief so you will rest and heal properly. Wishing you great success with your surgery ♥
Prayers for you,

Report post


I am so happy you are getting your plan together...

Here is to you NED!

Lov ya!

Report post

Before you have surgery (20% fatality rate, with risk of serious infection), you may want to explore the possibility of CyberKnife treatment instead.

The web site is You can also Google "cyberknife" with "lung tumor" to find recent clinical reports.

You can always have surgery if CyberKnife doesn't work.

As a cancer patient, you have to be informed, proactive, and very aggressive about what treatments you want, how you want them done, and where. This is not like appendicitis where you get a diagnosis and the doctors almost always know exactly what to do and how to do it. Cancer has no known reliable cure; because clinicial knowledge and capabilities are developing rapidly, cancer patients have to take the lead. Many cancer patients know more about the disease and recent treatment developments than most locally-based oncologists.

Treatment of lung cancer should be done at a university-based medical school's recognized cancer treatment center. See the National Cancer Institute's web site for information; enter "designated" into the search box to find a lilst of recognized cancer treatment centers, along with their addresses and phone numbers.

Hope this helps you.

Report post

Husband had RUL lobectomy 3/10, could not perform the vats method, has those incisions as well though! He was in 5 days, wanted to send him home at 4, I said no! He still had the drain and I spoke w/doc about staying 1 more day, they were all fine with it. He coughed for several months, the remainder of his lung has expanded, he golfs, bowls, walks the dog.

Report post

ihad a lobectomy in 2007 .It took quite a while to get back to normal but was swimming 6 weeks later ,back to work after 5 months as i do a job that requires lifting people .I have just X rays .now every year as it is different in the U K .I now take good care of myself .good diet and lots of exercise .have been really well since op .now i dont think about it as i did before i just enjoy my life .i know i was so very lucky and i am sure you will be .we are so fortunate to be able to have a operation to get rid of it .I thank god every day .try not to worry i am sure you will be fine

Report post

I had RUL removed feb. Had it done on thursday and was home Monday afternoon. They gave me an epidulal in surgery so I felt next to no pain in the hospital. The recovery at home was about 4 weeks befor I really started feeling like myself. Make sure you have good pain management at home. The only other advice I can give is do the breathing exercise they give you. And I bought a body pillow so I felt more secure in bed with the support of the pillow. My surgeon used glue to close my incision and the scar looks pretty good.
God Bless, I will pray for a easy recovery.

Report post

I had RLL lobectomy 15 month ago.

Try CyberKnife option. If I had info about CyberKnife at that time I would try CyberKnife.

Report post

I had my upper right removed.I was told cyber knife by several people. The Doc said no the tumor was so big it had pushed up against my heart. The outside wall of my lung had attached itself to a rib and the inside of my chest both had to be scraped. That was 12/15/10 I still have days were there is no feeling,a little bit of pain and a real heavy feeling on my right side.They news is I walk, mow,fish and anything else I feel like doing.You will also learn to do things a little slower.I am alive and it feels good each day I get up to know I beat cancer.Oh also the grass is greener the birds sing louder and my family means more to me.

Report post

Hello Pauline,

If at all possible see if you can find a surgeon who does VATS. The type of surgery you have been advised of is really an antiquated approach to lung surgery--what they were doing from the 1950's to about 2005. With VATS you will have a super fast recovery and much less pain and/or loss of mobility. The VATS surgery is a piece of cake compared to chemo and I'd go through it anyday over chemo.

I had VATS in 2006 for removal of right upper and middle right lobes. Just had it again in December for two wedge resections in left lobe.
My recovery both times was swift and had me back enjoying life in a few weeks.

In 2006, if I had stayed in my city, I would have had to have the old type of lung surgery...and advised like you that recovery would be 3 months. I researched via the net and found out about VATS then found two doctors at Moffitt Cancer Center who did VATS. Since then, in the last five years many doctors have been trained in the VATS procedure. My bet is there is one not too far from where you are if not in the same city.

Report post

Hi Pauline .... June 2008 I had URL removed the "hard" way and just had VATs wedge resection on LLL. The VATS is for sure way easier. I still have pain episodes from the URL surgery, but I'm able to be up and about and doing things. I just had to learn to slow down. I was always in high gear no matter what I was doing ... not so anymore.
So, yes, do VATs if you can, or Cyberknife sounds great, too. I live in a small town with pretty good cancer resources but not the best, you know? I just needed to stay close to home.
Good luck and God Bless!

Report post

VATS is the best choice - ALWAYS. The cyberknife has no proven record (though they are doing a clinical study right now). But the VATS is little pain (I had the upper right lobe removed using VATS), and fast recovery. I was out of the hospital in two and a half days and back to work in a week - back to "normal" in two or three months.



Report post

I had the upper lobe of my right lung removed on December 29, 2008. My surgery was done robotically and I was released from the hospital on January 1, 2009.

Now I do everything I did before the surgery and more. And there is only a slight bit more difficulty breathing during strenuous exercise particularly in extreme cold and extreme heat.

Every person has a different experience but stay positive and believe.

Hope all goes well with you. I will be praying.


Report post


Enough, stop!! Where in the world did you get these stats from. They are simply UNTRUE.

This is what you wrote, I copied and pasted:

"Before you have surgery (20% fatality rate, with risk of serious infection), you may want to explore the possibility of CyberKnife treatment instead."

There is NOT a 20% fatality rate for an upper right lobectomy.

You have got to be more careful in what you write. This is untrue, and very discouraging for someone who is about to go through this type of surgery. Talk about putting fear in someones mind. THAT can be dangerous. This is a potentially lifesaving surgery (going for the cure) and you write this?

You show us right now where you got this.

I don't think you can.


Report post

Hi Pauline34,

I had an upper left lobectomy on 10-11-06. Wedge resection, still have surgical pain.
Had I known about the other approaches, I think that is what I would have done.

I was in the hospital 6 days. My choice really, the nurses were so nice and I was getting breakfast in bed. Or maybe it was complications from the chest tubes.
I was out shopping the next day. Also my choice because my husband was under the impression you can live on beer and eggs alone.

I was back to work the following week, and walking as much as possible on my treadmill. I was given Vicadon(sp?) which has no effect on me. So went sans pain meds.

Although I still have the surgical pain, I've gotten used to it like some do to arthritis. Otherwise, I feel great.

Hope everything goes well.

Best wishes-Laurie

Report post

I had RUL lobectomy in 2006. I have to say it was one of the hardest things I ever went through. I am glad I did it but this type of surgery is tough. I am not trying to scare you , but prepare you. I was unable to lie flat after the surgery for a couple of weeks, so slept in a recliner at home. I had difficulty getting in out of the chair and needed help for a week or so. I even needed help in the shower for a few days because moving the arm on the affected side was somewhat painful. Use your pain meds at the first sign of discomfort, don't let the pain get out of hand. A heating pad helped a lot with the aching of the muscles and broken rib. I kept a small table next to my recliner with the phone, pain meds, the tv remote and a good book. Get up and walk as much as you can tolerate, this will help keep your lungs clear and speed your recovery. Your Doc is right, about 3 months to recovery, although I have to say I was pretty much feeling recovered at 6 weeks and went back to work at 8 weeks. Some people will have long term effects after this surgery, but many have little or no effects once the healing is done. Good luck to you with your surgery, hope all "comes out" well....

Report post

I had upper left lobe removed. I was still tired when I got home from the hospital after 4 days. After a week or so I felt better and better. Now you couldn't even tell I had a lobe removed. I have no trouble breathing. Later on, I had some other surgeries but I still have no trouble breathing. Hope all goes well for you. Don't worry.

Report post

Had a RML lobectomy 8/2010 the traditional way. My surgeon insisted no vats due to positioning and he wanted to really get in there and get it all. Even with all I still ended up having positive lymph nodes 4 mos after surgery. I had pain issues, if you look through my older posts, you can see what I did to get through it. You are going for a cure not fear the surgery. I hated radiation more than my surgery, but the point is a cure is so worth it. I had so much amxiety before surgery and was back to work after seven weeks. Full recovery takes a bit, but you will be surprised at how quickly you are back to a relatively normal life. We are all here for you, and will help you through it, step by step.

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Photo of Dave Grant

The Lung Cancer Survivors Support Community has provided support for patients, caregivers, families and friends since 2006. We welcome over 600 new members every month in the fight against lung cancer.

ALK mutations and lung cancer

Join the discussion about ALK mutations and lung cancer

Things you can do

Discussion topics

Community leaders